Geophysical Industry Voices Concern About 2014 Barents Sea "Group Shoot"
HOUSTON, TX -- (Marketwired) -- 12/16/13 -- International
Association of Geophysical Contractors President Chip Gill today
issued the following statement on the announcement by Norwegian Oil
and Gas and Statoil of a joint seismic acquisition project in the
"On December 10th, Norwegian Oil and Gas and Statoil announced a
group of 17 oil and gas companies have established a project for
joint seismic acquisition in the southeastern Barents Sea. This group
will jointly acquire seismic data covering the blocks that will be
announced in the 23rd licensing round for the Norwegian continental
shelf in 2014.
The geophysical industry applauds any efforts to minimize conflicts
with fishing interests that might arise when seismic data is acquired
in advance of the planned 23rd licensing round in 2014. Our industry
is committed to sustainable acquisition operations and meets
regularly with stakeholders in an effort to address their concerns
and minimize conflicts. However, the geophysical industry is
concerned that this group project will undermine the multi-client
business model that has benefited both the E&P companies and the
In exploration permits granted to IAGC members for acquisition of
seismic within Barents Sea South East in 2014, it is stated that
priority will be given to seismic surveys which the Authorities deem
necessary for the 23rd round and other surveys may be stopped or
forced to be postponed. This statement marks a significant change to
the permit system in Norway and significantly impacts an already
self-regulating and fully functional market.
Modern seismic data is critical to the exploration, development and
production (E&P) of oil and gas, and is critical to reducing risks in
E&P operations. Multi-client data, which is acquired by geophysical
companies at their risk and expense and licensed to oil and gas
companies, has played an important role in the successful development
of the oil and gas Industry in Norway. It has supported the
technological development of seismic acquisition in general as well
as encouraged exploration of frontier areas with enhanced data
coverage at minimal risk to each individual oil and gas Company.
Over the last 20 years the business model under which multi-client
data is acquired has facilitated the acquisition of most of the
modern, high-quality seismic data available to oil and gas companies
on the Norwegian continental shelf.
The multi-client model facilitates innovation, competition and a
market-based approach to collecting seismic. This promotes efficiency
by ensuring that coverage of large areas is done in a manner where
the most prospective areas receive more attention than less
The model further ensures that areas with a need for or which would
benefit from particular technologies or acquisition parameters
receives special attention. Different oil companies or geophysical
companies may also have differing views on these matters which may
again lead to a wider understanding of the subsurface in a new and
The geophysical industry is concerned that a large co-operation
between oil companies based on one plan for all is restrictive to
competition between oil companies and between geophysical companies.
There is currently no mechanism in this proposal for Geophysical
Contractors to continue to invest in the successful exploration and
development in this frontier region. Recent discoveries such as
Skrugard and Havis have relied on a rich diversity of multi-client
data sets incorporating the latest technologies, knowledge,
understanding and commercial investment by geophysical contractors.
We feel it is important that this successful model is allowed to
continue in this newly opened area.
IAGC members look forward to future discussions concerning any
process about seismic surveys in the Barents Sea southeast with the
Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE), Norwegian Petroleum
Directorate (NPD), fisheries interests, Norwegian Oil and Gas and
other stakeholders. We also call upon them to further evaluate this
restrictive model and its impact on the geophysical industry for
future use in promoting oil and gas exploration on the Norwegian
IAGC is the international trade association representing
the industry that provides geophysical services (geophysical data
acquisition, seismic data ownership and licensing, geophysical data
processing and interpretation, and associated service and product
providers) to the oil and gas industry.
More information on IAGC and the geophysical industry can be found at
http://www.iagc.org and http://geophysicsrocks.com
Director of Communications
713-957-8080 - office
281-780-4520 - mobile
International Association of
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Houston, Texas 77008 USA
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